«The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked» (Proverbs 10:11).
John the Baptist is one of the great characters in the Scriptures. In fact, Jesus said of him: «For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he» (Luke 7:28). He came to prepare the way for Jesus in a moment of enormous ignorance of the Word of God in Israel. He prepared to proclaim repentance, and when the time came, he went into the wilderness to share the good news of salvation. There were soldiers, scribes, princes, rabbis, and peasants astonished at the way this man presented the message of heaven. With great authority, he rebuked the civil and religious authorities. The spiritual leaders of the people shuddered at the messages of the humble servant of the Lord. Soldiers were exhorted not to practice corruption and abuse of the people. Then, miraculously, many people accepted the message of repentance and were baptized by John.
John’s powerful messages made him extremely popular among the people. In addition, several admirers decided to follow him and became his disciples. Even the one who confused him with the promised Messiah. But the servant of God did not succumb to arrogance nor did he take advantage of the circumstances. At all times he reminded people that he was not the Christ, he was simply a messenger of the Lord.
But one day, Herod’s clumsy words during a feast, in offering Salome up to half his kingdom for a simple dance, led John the Baptist to death. While he was in prison, his disciples asked him if he had anything to say about Jesus, to which John replied: «He must increase, but I must decrease» (John 3:30). What words! «Looking in faith to the Redeemer, John had risen to the height of self-abnegation. He sought not to attract men to himself, but to lift their thoughts higher and still higher, until they should rest upon the Lamb of God. He himself had been only a voice, a cry in the wilderness. Now with joy he accepted silence and obscurity, that the eyes of all might be turned to the Light of life»—The Desire of Ages, ch. 18, p. 179.
Today remember that you, too, can be a messenger of the Lord and proclaim His soon return to this world.